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Slaying of Carefree Roseland Man a Case of Mistaken Identity, Family Says

 Deandre Calahan, 27, was killed in Roseland.
Deandre Calahan, 27, was killed in Roseland.
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ROSELAND — If you ever met Deandre Calahan, his family said, he’d probably make you laugh.

“He was always smiling,” sister Jetun Waters said, “and he always wanted everyone else to smile. It didn’t matter if he didn’t even know you. If he’d see you frowning, he’d tell you, ‘You’re pretty. Smile.’ ‘You’ve got teeth in your mouth, and they’re perfect. Smile.’”

Calahan, a 27-year-old father who worked as a recruiting manager, was gunned down in Roseland Monday night. He had been walking along the 200 block of West 93rd Street with two women when a gunman approached and opened fire shortly after 10 p.m., police said.

Calahan was struck several times and pronounced dead at the morgue at 1 a.m. Tuesday, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Some family members believe Calahan was executed after an acquaintance mistakenly pegged him as the snitch that tipped off cops to an illegal drug ring. When the operation was raided late last week, one relative said, “They put a hit out on him [Calahan].”

Police could not confirm the story Wednesday. Officer Antoinette Ursitti, a police spokeswoman, said Area South detectives were still investigating, and no one had been charged.

On Wednesday afternoon, relatives remembered Calahan as “goofy,” “very smart” and someone who “loved drinking Olde English beer.”

“He’s never been bored,” Jetun Waters, 20, said. “All he wanted to do was just kick it and be around the people he loved. Man, he was the coolest dude.”

Waters said whenever Calahan walked into a room, his 2-year-old son Demarius would grab anyone who would listen and exclaim, ‘That’s my daddy.’”

Calahan's mother Rolanda Waters, 49, said her son "would light up the room.”

“He’d take a sad situation and make it into a laughing situation. He could turn a room around,” the mother said.

When Calahan was in the sixth grade, Rolanda Waters said, one of his teachers failed him because he goofed off so much.

“He could do the work,” she said, “but he was just the class clown.”

Rolanda Waters said she's been working with detectives to find out who killed her son just one day after Mother's Day.

“I have faith in God that it’s all going to come out,” she said. “They killed my son, and piece by piece, day by day, it’s all coming out … When something’s in the dark, it always comes to the light.”